I know, I know, it’s been a while! I am taking two accelerated classes right now, one being Humanistic Traditions, and the other, Theory of Creative Writing. I am loving my writing class, and my professor is amazing. I’ve written more creative stories in these past weeks than I have in high school. I find myself writing about topics deeper than I had ever imagined. Characters dealing with conflicts which are both intriguing, and outside of my comfort zone.
That being said, I made this for dinner a while ago—and I mean weeks ago— I am finally going to post the recipe and photo.
I found this book in a thrift store a few years ago, and I am sad to say I have never dove into the book until today. “I’m Just Here For The Food” was one of Alton Brown’s first cookbooks. Written over twelve years ago, Alton explores the cuisine with illustrations, scientific analogies, and of course, his likable humor.
Believe it or not, Chicken Piccata is actually a braised dish. Originating in Italy, Piccata means “sharp” , referring to the sharp and tangy caper sauce which accompanies the chicken. The chicken is pan-fried to create a crisp exterior, then finished by simmering in a sauce. When I was younger, my grandfather used to make this dish all the time for me.
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
Freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dredging plus 1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 scallions, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup sweet vermouth, sherry or white wine
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and lightly crushed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 lemon, sliced thinly
Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, on a sheet of plastic wrap; fold the wrap over to cover. Using the mallet, pound each breast to uniform thickness of 1/4-inch. Season the chicken liberally with the salt and pepper, dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.
In a heavy skillet just big enough to hold all the chicken, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. When the oil and butter stop sizzling, add the chicken and cook, turning once, until just brown on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate. Pour off any grease from the pan and add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Add the onion to the skillet and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and the scallions and saute 1 more minute. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the flour over the vegetables and toss to combine.
Deglaze the pan with the vermouth and lemon juice. Add the capers and toss to combine. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and reduce heat to low, simmering until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. The sauce should cling to the meat.
Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary, and serve on warm platter garnished with the parsley and lemon slices.
Recipe inspired by “I’m Just Here For The Food”
“Then maybe I’ll be able to snatch a pebble from Julia Child’s hand” – Alton Brown